This report on the manufacture of cement, lime and related products assesses the state and size of the sector and the factors that influence it. There is comprehensive information on imports and exports, major players and their capacity and performance, and developments in the sector. There are profiles of 15 companies including major players such as PPC, AfriSam, Lafarge, NPC-Cimpor, Sephaku and Mamba. Other profiled companies include Cemza, which started producing cement at Coega in March 2019 and Bontebok Limeworks.
The South African Cement Manufacturing Industry, Including Lime and Related Materials
The distressed state of the construction sector, the poor economy and reduced spending on infrastructure resulted in declining sales volumes of cement in 2019. Local producers of lime, cement and related products entered 2020 with declining production capacity utilisation rates, weakening demand and intensifying competition for market share. Although South Africa and its neighbours are oversupplied, imported cement continues to pour into the saturated market. The challenging local operating environment has been compounded by high fuel costs and energy insecurity.
Anti-dumping duties that came into effect in 2015 stemmed the influx of Pakistani cement products. But since March 2018, imported cement from Vietnam has flooded the market and imports are undercutting local prices by as much as 45%. The Concrete Institute has asked the International Trade Administration Commission to investigate and has suggested trade protection in the form of tariffs. Role players say that cheap imported products are mainly used in the private building trade, notably in the informal sector.
In view of the challenging market conditions in the cement industry, stakeholders have proposed the need for consolidation for producers to take advantage of opportunities in sub-Saharan African countries that offer good growth prospects. Merger negotiations between PPC and AfriSam broke down in December 2017, but both indicated that they remain open to the possibility of a future merger.